G-Poppers … April 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop has a healthy and energetic disagreement with those who say they’re “sick and tired.”

Matter of fact, this phrase has become one of the favorite patters of the pundits.

“America is angry…”

Of course they’re angry. They live in a democracy where most of the time they won’t get their way. It’s the law of averages.

How often will your particular preference be in the majority? And if it isn’t, you are culturally and politically pushed to the side in favor of the plurality.

As I said, it’s called democracy–and democracy is like broccoli. No one particularly favors it, but everyone knows it’s good for them.

For example, if you want guns, be prepared to accept gays.

If you want to choose how you worship, make sure you understand that you must give every woman the right to choose what she does with her own body.

And if you love to celebrate the heritage of your genealogy, be fully aware there are those who are trying to come into our country who would also love to begin their own experience of generations.

If you are intent on pursuing your path and agenda exclusively, you will have to find a leader–a king, a queen, a shah, a dictator, an ayatollah–who agrees with your ideas, and place this person in power, being aware that eventually this absolute ruler will come along and take away something you really enjoy.

Otherwise, you should stay with a system called America, which is horribly flawed, but equally punishing to all of its citizens. And what is this punishment?

  • You’re not going to get what you want.
  • You will be part of an experiment of discovering the common good.

So for those who think America is angry, let me say: Get over it.

You are free.

But so is he.

And so is she.

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Good News and Better News … April 4th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good News and Better News Woodmont

It’s 9:53 A. M. and time for me to go into the sanctuary at Woodmont United Methodist Church in Reidsville, North Carolina, and share the little bit I know. (Fortunately, it’s only an hour, or I would quickly run out of smart stuff.)

There’s nothing terribly impressive about me, so as I get out of my wheelchair to hobble and creak my way over to the piano bench, the gathered host of God probably feel more pity than enthusiasm.

It doesn’t matter.

They have spent the whole week being overwhelmed by politicians, pundits and individuals of all shapes and forms who believe in establishing their prowess through dominance.

So as I look out at my soon-to-be friends, I feel compassion–because they’re man-handled.

They are continually manipulated, coerced and even criticized into believing that “might makes right,” and “the loudest always gets to be the proudest.”

They are peppered with the message that it is an “I” against an “I”–and teeth are made for biting.

Yet with all the promotion of this philosophy, the world still falters–with terrorists now telling us that God thinks we should be blown up, or at least shot multiple times with bullets.

So in that sacred moment, I realize that the House of Jesus needs to be a safe haven from the stupidity of prideful demolition.

Man-handling. What is it?

1. “You gotta fight. Stand up for yourself! Speak your mind. It’s a free country. If you don’t defend yourself, people will walk on you.”

But even in a room filled with just a hundred voices, if everybody speaks up for him or herself, nobody gets heard.

So my message?

Stop fighting and wait for an ingenious idea from the Holy Spirit, to handle the next situation.

Also, the man-handlers want you to know:

2. “Life is complicated.”

If they don’t convince you of that, how can they sell you the improved product, the new book, the fresh idea or the present political candidate?

So I decided to tell the folks at Woodmont to simplify.

After all, I never saw anybody get anything done in a better way because they complicated it. Even if I were an ant, my job would be to find the shortest distance to get the crumbs to my nest.

And finally, all the man-handlers want to make it clear that:

3. “We’re all different.”

Since nowadays it’s basically considered to be ignorant to be a bigot, we hide behind the disguise of “cultural choices” to promote our prejudice.

In other words, since “blacks like things done a certain way,” that’s why they hang out together, and “Chinese people prefer chopsticks instead of forks.” But rather than this teaching tolerance, we’re just promoting isolation.

My answer to the man-handlers is to find commonality among us all.

The forefathers said there is such a thing as the common good.

Here, here.

So as I got ready to strike my first note and begin the service, what crossed my mind was that these people really need to be “God-handled.”

Since I possess no divine qualities whatsoever, I chose to imitate the heavenly Father’s personality profile.

I brought mercy. Mercy-handling.

That’s the good news.

And the better news is that being merciful gets much easier when you realize that you don’t necessarily know what you’re doing.

Therefore you have a desire … to be generous to others.

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G-Poppers … December 4th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

 

Come listen, my children, and you will hear

How we’ve learned to hate and live in fear.

G-Pop wonders.

Will his children fall victim to the negative pundits who spin every news story into a situation which cannot be resolved, lending itself to despair?

Does G-Pop have the fortitude to step in and say that our problem is not as complicated as presented by those who seemingly make a living out of baffling us?

There are three approaches to people. If you use the wrong one, you can end up with disastrous results. Finding the correct attitude is the doorway to the possibility of peaceful coexistence.

Even though this week, two people took guns and killed their neighbors, hundreds and thousands did not. That seems to be lost in the discussion.

Do we really believe that the millions of us who would not harm anyone cannot effectively address the tiny handful who are determined to be destructive?

It all revolves around our approach. Here’s the first school of thought:

1. People are good.

For you see, if people are good, all they really require is praise and encouragement. Yet I will tell you, people are not innately good. Every thing born with an appetite over-consumes. Human beings have too many lusts, apprehensions and greedy moments to ever be classified as good.

Therefore praise bolsters the insane while often being insufficient for the saint.

2. People are bad.

If this is true, they should be punished. They should be degraded. They should be viewed as expendable.

Religion and politics certainly cannot survive without maintaining the philosophy that human beings suck. Once we believe that “bad” can wear a human face, killing it off can almost seem heavenly.

3. People are people.

They’re not just good, they’re not just bad. Having consumed the knowledge of good and evil, they are constantly torn and teased with the options–without ever arriving at a true conviction. So praising them will be fairly unsuccessful, and punishing them will limit their scope for angelic deeds.

Because people are people, they need to be motivated.

You can’t simply make new commandments, new laws, new restrictions and think you’re going to stop the bad part of people.

Likewise, you can’t assume that every mortal is filled with demonic proportions, and should be locked away and disconnected from their passions.

We need to be motivated.

  • Why should I love my neighbor?
  • Why should we encourage the Jew and the Palestinian to get along?
  • Why should we take care of our children?

Give me reasons that have benefits and I will listen. Give me demands with no obvious personal value, and I will rebel.

G-Pop hopes his children understand. People are not just good or bad. This thinking leads to a dead-end of discouragement.

People are people.

So be prepared to motivate them–or stand back and watch as they choose good or bad, solely based upon convenience.

 

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … February 18, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Pohymn February 18

Two by Two

Angry news

Conflicting views

Pundits tell

Not well

Need hope

Can’t cope

Blank verse

Brings curse

Some turn

We learn

Traitors scurry

Faithful worry

Two conceive

Others believe

Children cry

Innocent die

Repetitious prayer

Produces scare

Insipid singing

Joyless bringing

Bullets speed

Flesh bleed

War increase

Seek peace

Prophets share

Limited care

Simple flow

Will grow

When I

Ask why

And you

Do too

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Three Ways to Start Fresh… January 1, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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bread bigger

Dream and scheme.

It is the dual approach used in the United States by those who are pursuing success.

We are told to have “big dreams” and be prepared to scheme our way into the marketplace using cunning–everything short of illegality.

The pundits of this philosophy sit back and smirk at its ambiguity. In other words, how realistic are dreams and how proficient is it to scheme for what we want?

The “dream and scheme” tactic is not only inefficient but also dangerous–inefficient because it leaves us at the mercy of hope, and dangerous because we are tempted to cheat.

As we begin the New Year, we often have the sensation of wanting to improve our lives. But dreams put us to sleep, threatening nightmares, and scheming puts us in a competitive arena with those who may be more ruthless.

Here’s how you can start fresh:

1. Don’t fret over what you haven’t done.

There’s a reason for it. Don’t study the reasons so much. The past only gives you a certain amount of input before it turns into a nagging mistress.

2. Set your aspirations based on what you can do instead of what you want to do.

If you’ve never done it before, although you tried, your next attempt will probably be no more illustrious. Instead, winnow down your talents to those you can perform when sick, inspired, depressed, under pressure or handicapped. After all, these are your gifts. Use them well.

3. Don’t blame anyone.

That includes yourself. Circumstances always arise to bring tribulation. We have two defenses against such onslaught:

A. Count the cost.

In other words, don’t budget in what you don’t have. Only consider what’s available.

B. Be of good cheer.

And here is my definition of good cheer:

Nothing happens until I show up. Nothing is over until I give up.

If you will escape the “dream and scheme” apparition which is haunting our culture, you can begin a fresh, new life–working with your abilities, doing what you can do, and not taking things so personally.

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Populie: Good People Vote … November 5, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is quite possible for something to be good but handled so poorly that it becomes bad.

This is how ideas that are popular can be infested with a lie, and end up being a populie that brings dissension and even destruction.

This is obvious to me on the issue of voting.

Entertainment, which has something good to work with and often handles it poorly, ending up with mediocre or bad results, loves the issue of voting because it’s so easily twisted into either a civil responsibility or a sense of frustration over horrible elected officials.

Politics, which takes something good–governing and taking care of people–and handles it so poorly that it becomes something bad–loves voting because it gives the illusion of giving power to the voter, while stealing the real decision-making away from them.

And religion, which is something good to bless the hearts of people, and is poorly handled as mere ritual and greed, loves voting because it gives us another way of expressing supremacy and proving that we’re patriotic.

I will become a firm believer in voting when it actually begins to matter, and is not the victim of the electoral college, gerrymandering, the 24-hour news cycle intrusion, PACs, and incessant polls elections by smearing manure on opposing candidates.

I refuse to accept something which has become evil through the cheating and lying of manipulative individuals and call it good, simply to fall in line with some holy patriotic march to commonality.

Right now my vote does not matter.

That makes me mad.

Even if we could take one or two of these perversions and demand that they be changed so that the vote of each individual American IS counted as valuable, I would be pleased.

If we would just do away with the electoral college and forbid polls to be taken daily during elections, this country would be stronger and the politicians would be responding to the people instead of their parties and the pundits.

I won’t even deal with the gerrymandering which segments districts based on demographics or the intolerable negative ads which permeate the television screen in an attempt to prove that “my political dog is better than your political dog.”

Stop stumping for the power of the vote. There are simply too many interferences in the democratic system.

  • Voting is good.
  • The way it is handled in this country is horrible.
  • Therefore the result is bad.

Take your vote and use it to change the voting process in this country, and you will really achieve something rather than goose-stepping your way to the polls at the bequest of the system.

People are not avoiding the movie theaters because they hate movies. Their emotions and spirits are starved by entertainment which is both repetitious and uses too much sensationalism.

People are not leaving the church because they hate goodness. They are departing because form has overtaken reason and intolerance has been thrust forward instead of the love of God.

And people are not indifferent to good government–but they do feel they’ve lost the power to initiate change.

Good people vote–if good people have secured the path to make sure their vote is not interrupted by corruption.

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Three Ways to Blaze a Trail … October 16, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Davy Crockett

1. Find a forest that needs a path.

There are many bramble bushes of confusion in society today. It often seems that the only way they’re being addressed is by pundits who further confuse the issues. So you can become a force of nature simply by problem solving instead of problem debating.

The three largest difficulties facing us at this point are gender inequality, racial prejudice and pernicious apathy. There is plenty of room for trail-blazers.

Find a forest. Build a path.

2. Don’t be afraid of the bears and the wolves.

There are bears in our society who want to scare you away with their growl and claws, and wolves who would like to take a bite of you in order to establish their dominance. But just like the bears and wolves in the actual woods, they are more afraid of you than you are of them.

Walk confidently, let them see you coming, and stay faithful without apprehension.

3. Cut down some trees so people can see the forest.

You remember the old saying: “can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Sometimes nature gets in the way of our progress. There are institutions, organizations and even religious conclaves which must be trimmed down to make room for human beings to enjoy the forest.

We can no longer merely throw our hands up in the air and sigh, “What am I going to do?” and think that we’re going to have the life we presently enjoy, or anything resembling it, to pass onto our children.

You will need to blaze a trail, but like all the pioneers and explorers before you, you will have to escape your seat of comfort and learn how to take dominion in unknown territory. 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

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